Historic Ft. Washita Structure Catches Fire, total loss - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Historic Ft. Washita Structure Catches Fire, total loss

Posted:

BRYAN CO., OK -- The restored south barracks of historic Fort Washita has burned and is a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported. Fort Washita is located 15 miles northwest of Durant, and 15 miles east of Madill, on SH-199.

Mary Horth wanted to show her nephew Fort Washita Sunday morning. When she arrived, she was shocked to find it was reduced to rubble.

"Because I love this place, and I can't believe anybody would be so selfish to come out and burn this place," Horth said. 

The last fire that Washita has seen was after the Civil War. After Sunday morning, it's nothing more than a pile of ashes.   

"I have four sons and all of them have grown up out here basically because I've been here 23 years, so they come out and help me with some projects--some shows," Larry Marcy said, Park Superintendent.

Marcy said he came out to the park as soon as he heard the news. By then, it was too late. 

"It's really disheartening to see the show piece of your site disappear in the manner that this one has," Marcy said. 

The landmark has been a destination for school field trips and family get-togethers since it was rebuilt in the 1970s. 

"I've been out here since I was a kid. I've been coming out here with my family," Vallie Lucas said, Fort Washita volunteer. "My mother and father, we use to come out for picnics and Easter egg hunts, and I've brought my family out here."

Several volunteer fire departments responded to the scene that morning. The building is a total loss. 

"It's sickening," Lucas said. "It's truly sickening. It was something that we were very proud of out here. It was one of our national landmarks." 

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Authorities are doing a full investigation. 

"It breaks my heart that there's people out there in the world that would do something like this to historical sites," Dustin Roberts said, candidate for State Representative District 22. "I mean, this thing has been in the families forever and it's dear to the people of Bryan County."

In June 2010, Fort Washita underwent an estimated $45,000 in renovations.

Park workers are unsure if, or when, it will be rebuilt. The Fire Marshall will do a full investigation Monday.

Jen French, KTEN News

  • Texoma HeadlinesMore>>

  • Bryan County man killed in motorcycle crash

    Bryan County man killed in motorcycle crash

    Robert Andrews IIRobert Andrews II

    BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A Cartwright motorcycle rider was killed in a crash in Bryan County early Saturday morning. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 46-year-old Robert Andrews II was driving on Highway 91 west of Colbert when the accident happened around 2 a.m. Investigators said Andrews -- who was not wearing a helmet -- was then run over by a car and dragged about 50 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was not injured.

    More >>

    BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A Cartwright motorcycle rider was killed in a crash in Bryan County early Saturday morning. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 46-year-old Robert Andrews II was driving on Highway 91 west of Colbert when the accident happened around 2 a.m. Investigators said Andrews -- who was not wearing a helmet -- was then run over by a car and dragged about 50 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car was not injured.

    More >>
  • Suspect caught on camera in Marshall County burglary

    Suspect caught on camera in Marshall County burglary

    KINGSTON, OK -- A Kingston homeowner has his belongings back after his home was burglarized over the weekend. The sheriff credits the homeowner's security system for helping to quickly track down a suspect. At the time of the break-in, the victim told officials he was three-and-a-half hours away from the home he owns near Lake Texoma. "You know, we are way out in the middle of nowhere out here," neighbor Jeremiah Donathan said.

    More >>

    KINGSTON, OK -- A Kingston homeowner has his belongings back after his home was burglarized over the weekend. The sheriff credits the homeowner's security system for helping to quickly track down a suspect. At the time of the break-in, the victim told officials he was three-and-a-half hours away from the home he owns near Lake Texoma. "You know, we are way out in the middle of nowhere out here," neighbor Jeremiah Donathan said.

    More >>
  • Going Green in Atoka County on Tuesday

    Going Green in Atoka County on Tuesday

    TUSHKA, OK -- A recycling company is teaming up with the Choctaw Nation's Going Green program at Tushka High School on Tuesday, April 25. Old electronics gear and used tires will be accepted at this free one-day event that runs from 2-6 p.m.

    More >>

    TUSHKA, OK -- A recycling company is teaming up with the Choctaw Nation's Going Green program at Tushka High School on Tuesday, April 25. Old electronics gear and used tires will be accepted at this free one-day event that runs from 2-6 p.m. 

    More >>